My husband and I went to a local cosmetic dentist who was advertising smile makeovers using Lumineers. We were both excited about having a young and cleaner looking smile after years of teeth that show our age exactly. When we left, she told us that the Lumineers would arrive in two weeks. Well, two weeks came and we received a phone call saying that the lab called and we will need to re-do the impressions made. We’ve already paid for everything up front and now I am a little worried we won’t actually ever see the Lumineers. Is this a common thing?
While I do believe that you will receive the Lumineers you and your husband ordered, I am a little concerned that you are not going to like the results. It does occasionally happen that an impression doesn’t go as it should have. That is not a big deal. You re-do the impressions and then your case gets completed. My concern is that your dentist doesn’t really know what she is doing. What makes me think that is the length of time we are dealing with here.
Knowing what goes on behind the scenes, here is my speculation, and bear in mind is speculation. Your dentist took the impressions, then sent them off to the lab. The lab then calls your dentist and says, “These impressions need to be re-done.” You guys are new patients so she is a little embarrassed about this and afraid you will lose confidence in her. So, instead of re-doing the impressions, she tells the lab to try and use them anyway. The fact that she had to call you back a couple of weeks later tells me the impressions were so bad that they were unusable to the lab. Now she had no choice but to call you.
Here is the thing. Lumineers are just one brand of porcelain veneers. They just happen to be a brand that is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case.
Doing smile makeovers is not taught in dental school. That means for a dentist to develop the technical skill and artistry necessary to produce beautiful results, they have to invest a lot of time and money into post-doctoral training. It doesn’t sound to me as if she has the training necessary.
Here is my recommendation to you. Before you allow her to bond the Lumineers on, insist that she place them first with a temporary try-in paste. If she doesn’t have that on hand, which she may not if she doesn’t do many of these cases, then any water-soluble gel should work. Then, look at them carefully in a variety of lightings to ensure that you are pleased with the result and would be proud to show them off for a lifetime. If you are, great! Allow her to permanently bond them on. If you are not absolutely thrilled, ask for her to either send them back to the lab changing the things you are unhappy with or to refund your money. Do NOT allow her to bond them on until you are satisfied.
Doing this will protect you from becoming a statistic in the growing number of cosmetic dentistry horror stories. If you do end up having to get a refund, once you have secured your money, go to an AACD accredited dentist to have your smile makeover done. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the world.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.